Saturday, September 23, 2006

Some Good News

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 — The World Health Organization on Friday forcefully endorsed wider use of the insecticide DDT across Africa to exterminate and repel the mosquitoes that cause malaria. The disease kills more than a million people a year, 800,000 of them young children in Africa.

Dr. Arata Kochi, who leads the group’s global malaria program, unequivocally declared at a news conference on Friday that DDT was the most effective insecticide against malaria and that it posed no health risk when sprayed in small amounts on the inner walls of people’s homes. Expanding its use is essential to reviving the flagging international campaign to control the disease, he said.

Dr. Kochi has powerful allies on DDT and, more broadly, on using insecticide sprays, in Congress and the Bush administration — an odd bedfellows coalition for an agency of the
United Nations, which has often been at odds with the White House.

At the news conference, Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer, who leads President Bush’s $1.2 billion malaria undertaking, stood at Dr. Kochi’s side and described spraying with insecticides as a tool “that must be deployed as robustly and strategically as possible.”
The health organization’s news release quoted Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma.

“Finally, with the W.H.O.’s unambiguous leadership on the issue, we can put to rest the junk science and myths that have provided aid and comfort to the real enemy
mosquitoes,” said the senator, a medical doctor.

This is good news indeed. Millions of lives will be saved.

My wish is that we could charge the environmental extremeists who got DDT banned in the first place with the murder of all the people who have died because DDT was unavailable and put them to death.

Let's hope that this is just a first step. DDT is the most effective insecticide ever developed. It poses zero risk to humans and its only threat to any other form of life is that when used in massive amounts it can cause bird's egg shells to thin.

And for those who have bought the lie that DDT was banned because it posed a cancer risk for human beings here is the truth from Dixie Lee Ray's book Trashing The Planet:

“Contrary to the common belief, DDT is not a persistent pesticide in the natural environment. Only in the unusual circumstances where soil is dark, dry, and devoid of microorganisms will DDT persist. Under normal environmental conditions, DDT loses its toxicity to insects in a few days, usually no more than two weeks. But its overuse did result in DDT being detected, albeit in small amounts, in soil, in water both salt and fresh, in the bodies of fish, birds, and domestic animals, and in man.” (page 70)

“The National Cancer Institute reviewed the mouse experiment results, and, in 1978, declared DDT was not a carcinogen.” (page 73)

“These data and much more were presented at the 1971 hearing and the recommendation, after considering 300 technical documents and the testimony of 150 scientists, was that a total ban on DDT was not desirable, based on the scientific evidence.” (page 73)

“Nevertheless, two months later, on June 14, 1972, William Ruckelshaus, EPA administrator, banned all uses of DDT unless an essential public purpose could be proved.” (page 73)

“Years later, Ruckelshaus admitted that ‘decisions by the government involving the use of toxic toxic substances are political…[and] the ultimate judgment remains political…[In] the case of pesticides, the power to make this judgment has been delegated to the Administrator of the EPA.’” (page 73)

Hat Tip: The Charlotte Capitalist